When trouble would announce itself at our door, my mother would frequently say “we live in the valley of tears”. She certainly suffered enough during her lifetime to validate that statement. It seems that everyday, I hear of good friends experiencing some renewed suffering… a reoccurrence of cancer, the loss of a job, the death of a loved one. This is not to mention the suffering and confusion and sin beyond our inner circle, in the church and the world.
Because we’ve all experience this suffering, we can often be waiting for the next “shoe to drop”, even if things are going well at the moment. Some attribute this attitude to being Irish ….. always looking for “the rain in the rainbow” or “the thorn in the rose”, or the “fly in the ointment”. But, I think it’s part of being human and having lived through a few trials.
Nevertheless, this is not a good attitude to have as your guiding light, or you’ll always be miserable. Remember Puddleglum in the Chronicles of Narnia who was described as “doleful as a funeral and a regular old humbug”. Jesus offers us true peace… true hope and wonderful expectations.
Jesus teaches us that the way to true peace is obedience to the will of God. He tells us “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27-31)
Today is the one year anniversary of the passing of Fr. James Carroll. Fr. Carroll was no “humbug”, but he also was not a “pie in the sky” person. He simply put his money where his mouth was. The will of God was all that mattered to him. Because of this he was at peace. He was a priest for 64 years. He knew trials and heartache, but his hope was in the Lord. Fr. Carroll heard thousands of confessions…always available to help the person looking for reconciliation with Christ.
So, may we put the will of God first in our life and receive the peace that is promised. While we will have troubles, we will know that they will pass and the promises of happiness now and in heaven await us. And that is very good news.